Honor spent most of 2020 suffering under the effects of the US Entity List as a Huawei subdivision, but the V40 – or View 40 as it may be known when it launches in Europe – is Honor’s first phone released as its own company after being sold late last year.
That also means that if and when the View 40 does launch in Europe and the West, it might be the first Honor phone in years to launch with support for Google Mobile Services, as there’s little reason why the company shouldn’t be able to get the phone certified following its detachment from Huawei.
When did the Honor V40 launch in China?
The Honor V40 launched in China on 22 January, and went on sale the same day.
It’s since been joined by the V40 Light Luxury Edition, which launched in China on 23 March.
Will the View 40 come to Europe?
The Honor ‘V’ phones tend to launch in the West as ‘View’ phones. While the View 30 never made it to the UK, Honor has issued a global press release for the new phone, calling it the View 40, which gives us hope that it is planning a global release for the new device – which would make sense if it’s now able to include Google services.
Adding fuel to the fire, the phone has since appeared on the EEC’s (Eurasian Economic Commission) systems, along with four other undisclosed Honor phones, suggesting that a release in the European market is edging closer.
The Honor V40 5G uses the model number YOK-AN10, leading many to believe that ‘YOK-N49’ mentioned in the listing is a European variant of the same phone.
To cast doubt on a global View 40 launch, Honor is already teeing up the launch of the Honor 50 in China. While this doesn’t directly affect the View 40, at this point it seems plausible that the company might simply skip a View 40 launch and go straight to bringing the Honor 50 out worldwide instead.
How much does the Honor V40 cost?
In China the V40 comes in two configurations with different storage: 128GB for CNY¥3,599, or 256GB for ¥3,999 – those work out to around £400/$550 and £450/$615 respectively.
That’s a little more than the previous-gen – the Honor V30 started from ¥3,299 at launch, with the V30 Pro costing ¥3,899. So far at least, there’s no equivalent V40 Pro model this time around.
What does the V40 look like?
There’s only one standard V40 configuration, and it doesn’t look too unusual. A curved display and dual-selfie cameras sit on the front, while the back is dominated by a chunky camera module in the corner.
The pearlescent glass finish is available in three colours: Midnight Black, Rose Gold, and Titanium Silver. The most interesting touch perhaps is the block of a slightly different finish that stretches from the camera module off to the side of the phone, calling attention to the powerful camera array rather than trying to hide it.
What about the Honor V40 specs & features?
While we expected a trio of V40 phones, in fact only a single device launched initially, with the V40 Light now set to follow. More on that below.
The regular V40 is powered by a MediaTek Dimensity 1000+ chipset – the company’s flagship up until the recent Dimensity 1100 and 1200 were announced. It’s paired with 8GB of RAM, and either 128GB or 256GB storage.
The 4000mAh battery may not sound massive on paper, but it’s combined with 66W wired charging and 50W wireless charging, both of which are seriously impressive. That means even if battery life isn’t best-in-class, charging is getting there – the company says it should take just 35 minutes to get a full charge over the cable.
The curved 6.72in display is a waterfall OLED with a resolution of 2676×1236. It supports a 10-bit colour range and HDR10, has a 120Hz refresh rate and 300Hz touch sampling rate, so it should both look great and be snappy to use.
As for cameras, the main shooter is a 50Mp, 1/.1.56in RYYB sensor. It’s joined by an 8Mp ultrawide and 2Mp macro, but there’s no telephoto included here. On the front, there’s a 16Mp selfie camera, joined by a ToF sensor for improved face unlock and portrait shots.
Here are those specs in full:
- 6.72in, 2676×1236 OLED at 120Hz
- MediaTek Dimensity 1000+
- 8GB RAM
- 128/256GB storage
- 50Mp, f/1.9 RYYB main camera
- 8Mp, f/2.4 ultrawide
- 2Mp, f/2.4 macro
- 16Mp, f/2.0 selfie
- 4000mAh battery
- 66W wired charging
- 50W wireless charging
- Android 10 with MagicUI 4.0
- 163.1 x 74.3 x 8 mm
What about the V40 Light?
As mentioned above, Honor has launched a V40 Light Luxury Edition.
From a design perspective, the phone looks almost identical to the Huawei Nova 8 5G, suggesting this was fact be one of the final phones Honor was working on before the brand’s sale.
You can expect a curved 6.57in OLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate, a 3800mAh battery with 66W charging, and a quad camera setup led by a 64Mp shooter, joined by ultrawide, macro, and a depth sensor.
The Nova 8 is powered by the Kirin 985, but of course Honor no longer has access to Huawei’s Kirin chips – instead the V40 Light uses the MediaTek Dimensity 800U.
Does the Honor V40 have Google Play Services?
The main reason that Huawei sold the Honor brand off was so that it could thrive again, free of the restrictions imposed on Huawei by the US government under the Trump administration.
Perhaps the most onerous for the company’s smartphone business was the fact that the trade ban blocks the company from officially partnering with Google for software, meaning that while Huawei phones still run the open-source Android, they can’t use Google Mobile Services (GMS), which in turn means they can’t access the Google Play Store to install apps.
With Honor now its own company, in theory, future Honor phones will be able to run GMS, and so will have a full Android experience once again.
Unfortunately, right now we don’t know if that will apply to the View 40 or not. Honor didn’t mention Google services at the phone’s Chinese launch, but then it wouldn’t normally ship with GMS in China anyway.
As of yet, there’s no official word on whether the phone will launch internationally, and if so, whether it will have full support for Google’s ecosystem when it does.